When You Think Things Are Going Great, The Crap Hits the Fan

pitbull picked up January
Injured pitbull from being in pit fights

 

Good Early Morning my friends,

I hope everyone has had a fantastic day. Since I lasted spoke to you, mine has went straight down hill. I had more contractors I had to deal with. I deal with the contractors here then  I turn around and go home and get to deal with them again.

Then I had three calls to pick up some new creatures. One is a beaver (I will post a pic of him, well all of them), after we got him settled, I got another call for a Mother lynx and two of her kits. I love Lynxs about as good as I do Bobcats, look out, here I go again. Then late this afternoon, I got a call for a pitbull. None of the vets ever call the humane shelters, they call me. They know in the shelters, the pitbulls will automatically be put to sleep. This poor dog pushed me over the edge. I love animals and to see one with it’s ribs showings, chunks were he had been bite, scars that were appropriately cared for, it broke my heart. The vet got him, he was half dead. He had recovered enough to be sitting up in the corner of his little cage. He was shaking like a leaf. The vet told me, they didn’t know what kind of temperment he could have. Seeing him shake in the corner, I didn’t care. I sit down in the floor and talked softly to him. I called him twice and on the third time, he stood up on his shaky legs and fell in my arms. He was shaking so and of course, the I was crying. I kept telling him, he didn’t have anything else to worry about. He was safe now, I would make sure of that. Through all the tears, a great, big sloppy tongue licked my face. I hugged him, crying and laughing at the same time. Automatic bond made. I carried him to the truck. I didn’t put him in a cage or anything. I put him in the cab with me. He sit right on top of me all the way back to the country. The vet had told me and I could see, he was a young pitbull that had been used as another’s fighting partner. These pitbullfighters pick younger dogs, strong ones but they don’t think they really have that killer in them, to be sparing partners. Sparing partners for the more vicious dogs. The one I picked up had been found in a back alley in the country, just throwed away. The person who found him, thought he was dead. Till they heard a faint whimper. They threw the garbage off the top of him and he was alive. They immediately picked him up and took him to the vet. He has been at the vet’s for more than a week recovering. Now it is my turn. All I want to do is show this poor animal all the TLC I can muster.

babylynx
One of the baby lynx we picked up with her Mother & other sibling

 

When we got back, I made him a special place in the back of the building were the babies generally stay. When he gets strong enough, I will move him but right now he is way to weak to go outside and survive. It is 10 degrees here tonight.

Got all the critters taken care of, I came in the office for some peace and quiet. Till I got to reflecting on how expensive this week has been. I also found bills that Annie was suppose to have paid that hasn’t been paid. Well here I went to crying again, I have wrote four checks to four different contractors just to get the work started. In other words, they wanted my deductible up front just to start the jobs. Then I thought we had enough funds left, so I orders a huge order of straw and feed. Now to top it off, I have found a $524.12 power bill. Why so high? Heaters for the animals. It gets cold, they are hurt and they couldn’t survive without them. Then up pops a $378.64 water bill. No we don’t have a leak, its winter and we leave the water outlets dripping. This keeps the water from freezing in case it is not getting enough heat.

 

Baby beaver
Baby beaver

 

So here I am again doing something I hate to do more than anything in the world asking for donations. Any amount right now will help. If the government hadn’t pushed tas season back, we would have been find. You see I do taxes and all the money I make from that goes right straight to the refuge. So far, no calls for anyone wanting their taxes done early. I just keep thinking, make it to Spring, we will be fine. We are always ok in Spring. Make it to Spring.

Winter is a very rough time of the year for us. In fact, I hate to see Winter roll around. It is a struggle each year, just to figure out how we are going to make it through another year. This year with the figure, the computers and everything else that keeps popping up, it just seems exceptionally hard.

We need your help. I know money is tight everywhere. But like I said if we can make it just a little longer, we will be fine. We would deeply appreciate any amount, you could donate to the animals and the refuge. They have to have food, water and heat. I’ll go hungry myself before they do. All they know is that they have been mistreated for their entire lives. Now they have a chance for a brand new, loving life. I am going to see that they get that new start. You don’t realize how much a $2.00 can buy. It can buy 6 cans of cat food. $5.00 can buy a bale of straw. You see it doesn’t take much and right now we are in a very desperate situation.

Whatever you can donate, we will be deeply grateful. Spring and Summer gets here, I hope things will be better. But right now, we need your help, please.

Thank you so much,

May the Goddess Truly  Bless You & Yours,

Lady A

 

cutie in box
Found this kitten in box on front porch when I got back

Flea Prevention & Holistic Treatments for Cats

Flea Prevention & Holistic Treatments for Cats

by Celeste Yarnall

There’s so much that is done to our cats that is accepted and mediocre—so  much so that few ever challenge it, especially Western trained veterinarians.  But some of these habitual protocols done so mindlessly and often have turned  out to be quite harmful for our cats. One of those is the routine use of  chemical flea products. Let’s look at what we see advertised today  routinely.

Flea collars (whether herbal or insecticidal) don’t work! 

They don’t kill fleas, and they don’t even particularly repel them, except  for the area right around the collar. The grocery/pet store variety contains  concentrated toxic chemicals, and the herbal ones are irritating to  odor-sensitive cats. Topical (spot-on or pour-on) flea preventatives are  associated with liver disease and other adverse effects in cats. Permethrin,  pyrethrin, or pyrethroid-containing products intended for dogs are extremely  toxic to cats and have caused many feline deaths. Putting a dog flea product on  a cat causes neurological signs (twitching, disorientation, seizures) that  ultimately kill about 10 percent of cats.

Healthy cats eating a balanced, properly supplemented raw meat and raw bone diet are much  less susceptible to fleas and other parasites. If your cat is experiencing a  flea problem, work on improving your cat’s overall health and deal with the  immediate parasite situation. This is a “holistic” approach in the truest sense  of the word!

The conventional thinking that fleas are the problem is like saying  “flies cause garbage” just because the two are often found together. It is the  unhealthy state of the animal that attracts the parasites, just like garbage  attracts flies.

Fleas, those nasty little blood suckers, are tough, highly evolved parasites  that, once entrenched, are not easily eliminated. Fleas are attracted to warmth,  moving shadows, and the vibrations from foot (or paw) steps. When dealing with  fleas, you need to protect your cat and reach fleas and larvae hiding in carpets  and yards. Even exclusively indoor cats can get fleas, which travel in on  peoples shoes and clothing. (Keeping your cat indoors, however, will eliminate  the risk of ticks.) And removing shoes at your front door keeps fleas out and  helps keep other germs out as well.

Adult fleas spend most of their time on the cat, where they feed on blood  several times a day. Flea eggs are slippery and quickly fall off the cat and  onto the cat’s resting areas, floors, rugs, bedding, and furniture. The eggs  hatch and go through several intermediate stages before emerging as adults in as  little as two weeks, but they may remain dormant for months. That’s why even if  you get rid of the fleas on your cat, reinfestation is a common and very  frustrating phenomenon.

A Three-Pronged Approach to Treating Fleas

Try this one-two-three punch to eradicate fleas from your—and your cat’s—life.

ON YOUR CAT:

Use an ultra-fine-tooth flea comb daily. Pay particular attention to the neck, tummy, and base of the tail, which are favorite flea hangouts. Have a glass or bowl full of warm, soapy water at hand to drown any fleas that turn up.

Bathe your cat. Bathing your cat will drown a lot of fleas, but apply soap around the ears and neck first to keep the fleas from rushing up to the cat’s head and face. The herb Erigeron Canadensis (Canadian fleabane), found in some herbal shampoos, will help kill fleas. Bathe no more than once a week.

IN YOUR HOME:

Floor/carpet treatments such as diatomaceous earth (the fossilized shells of one-celled organisms called diatoms) and boric acid–derived powders will kill flea larvae, primarily through dessication (drying). Exterminators use borates; you can either hire professionals to treat your home or do it yourself. For a serious flea problem, it may be worth paying a professional since their work is guaranteed. Vacuuming is very effective against flea eggs and might even catch a few adults. To keep the eggs from hatching or the fleas from escaping, discard the bag immediately or use a flea spray in the vacuum bag or container, (not on the cat) either before or right after you vacuum.

IN THE YARD:

Beneficial nematodes eat flea eggs and will help control flea populations outdoors.

Garden-grade diatomaceous earth is very effective. Concentrate on areas under shrubs and decks and other cool shady spots where animals (such as rodents, raccoons, and outdoor and feral cats) have access.

Be very careful about the so-called natural approaches to flea treatment such as the use of essential oils topically or internally for cats.

Remember essential oils can be very toxic to cats even though they are highly touted by so-called holistic pet experts. Do keep in mind that:

Cats’ livers do not have the necessary enzymes to break down and excrete certain chemical compounds in essential oils. The chemical compounds accumulate in a cat’s body and are sometimes toxic to the point of death. Cats are very sensitive to morphine, certain sulfanomides, salicylic acid (aspirin), acetaminophen (Tylenol), allyl propyl disulfide (onions) and compounds containing bezene (benzyl alcohol preservative). Avoid all of the following oils around cats:

Wintergreen and birch oils contain methyl salicylate, the same chemical compound in aspirin.

Phenol-containing oils: oregano, thyme, cinnamon (cassia), clove, savory, cedar, birch, and melaleuca (tea tree oil)

Ketones, such as sage

Monoterpene hydrocarbons pinene and limonene, most commonly found in the citrus and pine oils: lemon, orange, tangerine, mandarin, grapefruit, lime, bergamot, pine, spruce, and any fir oil. Many household cleaners and even pet products have these latter substances in them to make them smell nice to the owners.

Hydrosols are the appropriate form of essential oils to use in cats. Regardless, the cat should always be given a choice as to whether to “partake.” Forcing a cat to ingest oils that have not been tested for safety in their species seems most unwise and many essential oil people will do their best to tell you it is ok. However do not ever attempt this without a vet’s supervision at best.

Let’s only use foods and supplements that are safe and proven to be safe and effective for cats. The best oils for cats come from animal sources such as those that possess anti-inlammatory benefits such as Omega-3s from marine lipids which also help treat flea bite dermatitis.

For more holistic protocols for cats and information see The Complete Guide to Holistic Cat Care, An Illustrated Guide by Celeste Yarnall, PhD and Jean Hofve, DVM.

Top 10 Signs of Cancer in Dogs and Cats

Top 10 Signs of Cancer in Dogs and Cats

by Nicolas, selected from petMD

Many people do not realize that cancer is not  just a human condition — it  affects our pets as well. In fact, cancer is  the number one disease-related  killer of dogs and cats.  Dr. Lorie Huston tells her clients to be on the lookout for  the following signs.  While these symptoms are not purely indicative of cancer,  if a pet  begins to exhibit them you should visit your veterinarian immediately.  Just like with people, the earlier cancer is caught the better.

10. Lumps and Bumps

Not all lumps and bumps on or under your dog or cat’s skin will be  cancerous, but there is no  way to know for sure without getting your  veterinarian involved – this  is especially important if the lump is not  resolving itself or is  growing in size. A needle biopsy is commonly done and a  veterinary  pathologist can let you know if the cells are cancerous or not.

9. Abnormal Odors

Offensive odors from your dog or cat’s mouth,  ears, or any other part of  your pet’s body, should be checked out.  Oftentimes cancers of the mouth, nose,  or anal regions can cause such  foul odors.

8. Abnormal Discharges

Blood, pus, vomiting, diarrhea,  or any other abnormal substance being discharged  from any part of your  pet’s body should be checked out by your veterinarian. In  addition to  that, if your dog or cat’s abdomen becomes bloated or distended it  could  be a sign of an accumulation of abnormal discharge within the body.

7. Non-Healing Wounds

If your pet has wounds or sores that are not healing, it could be a sign of  infection, skin disease, or even cancer.

6. Weight Loss

Cancer is among the list of diseases that can cause weight loss in a pet. If you notice sudden weight loss in  your dog or cat (and it  is not currently on a diet), along with other signs  from this list, be  sure to mention it to your veterinarian.

5. Change in Appetite

Dogs and cats do not stop eating without a cause. While a lack of appetite does not automatically indicate cancer, it  is still something to be  discussed with your veterinarian. Oral tumors can also  cause difficulty  or pain when eating or swallowing.

4. Coughing or Difficulty Breathing

Coughing or abnormal breathing can be caused by heart disease, lung  disease, and also cancer. Cancer  can metastasize through the lungs and cause  these symptoms.

3. Lethargy or Depression

If you notice your pet is not acting like itself –  sleeping more, less  playful, less willing to go on walks or to exercise  – this can also be a sign  of cancer. Once again, lethargy or depression  is not a symptom confined to  cancer, but an accumulation of any of  these signs is reason enough to speak  with your veterinarian.

2. Changes in Bathroom Habits

Changes in your pet’s urinary or bowel habits –  difficulty using the  bathroom, frequent bathroom use, blood in urine or  stool – these are all  potential signs of cancer.

1. Evidence of Pain

Limping or other evidence of pain while the pet  is walking, running, or  jumping is mostly associated with arthritic  issues or joint or muscle diseases,  but it can also be a sign of cancer  (especially cancer of the bone).

 

Your Weekly Pet Horoscopes for May 29th

Aries

While I’ve always been in love with the sound of my own voice, I’m taking this to a whole new level this week. I’ll be making sounds just because I can, but also to get your attention. Let’s face it, I love to have my ego stroked and if making a noise gets me more attention then I’ll be right into it. The only problem is that I’m not particularly smart about this, so only reward me when it’s deserved.

Taurus

When my birthday month came to an end last week I began another year of going around the block again, except that for me the aging process is accelerated. As I get older my health needs change and I need you to keep up with them. Whether it’s by going on line or talking to my vet, find out what I need as I age. I want to be around for a long time, but I also want to keep healthy and agile.

Gemini

With my birthday month now well underway, it’s time to look at how we’re going to celebrate. I won’t say no to a new toy or some treats, but what I really need are those annual updates that are easier to remember at this time of year and that you’re making a commitment to my future. I can’t make the new resolutions that you might make when you have your birthday, so I need you to make them for me.

Cancer

If I had my way I’d be turning into a bit of a sloth, moving when I want to, which chances are isn’t that much. This is a changeable time of year as far as the seasons go, but while the environment might change what I’ll be seeking won’t. When it’s hot expect to find me lounging in the shade while seeking out the warmest spot to laze away some happy hours when it gets cold outside.

Leo

So long as I’m in the thick of things and I can see what’s going on, then I’ll be happy. I’ll have a healthy sense of curiosity for anyone that comes to the door, comes over to visit and if there’s not a lot happening at my place, I’ll be looking over or through the fence to see what the neighbours are up to. I’m not exactly nosey, just interested in all the facets of life going on around me and all those interesting smells.

Virgo

Any chance I get this week to impress or show off and I’ll be in seventh heaven, with a competitive streak running right down my back. If there are other pets in the house expect me to be first to the food, not because I’m hungry but because I want to win. This is a good time to teach me some new tricks, especially those that involve treats when I get it right or lots of ‘atta girls’ or ‘atta boys’.

Libra

I’ve had a bit of wanderlust pumping through my system for some time now, but rather than wearing off it seems that it’s here to stay. Chances are a sense of curiosity that goes with this may also be getting me into a bit of trouble, as I try and explore all the nooks and crannies I can manage to squeeze myself into. At least you won’t have to spend too much time entertaining me, as I’m more than capable of entertaining myself.

Scorpio

While I might be a creature of habit by nature, liking things to stay the same, I’m becoming a lot more open to change and no longer as fearful of new things as I once was. If you’ve tried to introduce me to new things in the past and I turned my nose up at it, then try again as I might be more receptive this time around. Though don’t take it too far, as there are some things I won’t compromise on.

Sagittarius

Just like you, I get bored of the same old same old, day after day and I’m just as much in need of variety as you are. It’s balance that will keep me happy, so mix and match things up a little for me. This would be a good time to introduce new tastes to my diet, though go for smaller sizes first. And just like you movement and keeping agile is important for me as I age, but for me exercise means having a chance to play.

Capricorn

As the focus shifts more and more to my health needs, it’s important to remember that as well as the right food, the right vaccinations and treatments I need, that I also need to have fun. If you’re looking at all my other health needs and not seeing running around and having fun as part of that package, then you’ll miss the most important part. I not only need to keep agile, but having fun has all sorts of health benefits for me.

Aquarius

While it will soon be time to start looking more closely at my health needs, that time won’t come until next week. However, there is nothing to say that you can’t get a jump start on this or that you can’t start taking some shortcuts. I’m in a mood this week for having fun and I want and need lots of playtime. It just so happens that running around and having fun is one of the best things for my health and for our bonding.

Pisces

I am fast becoming a real homebody, not only liking my routines but loving being right in the middle of family life, with the more you include me the better. This is not because I’m feeling anxious or because I need reassurance, just that it’s something that I’ll enjoy. So much so that I’m likely to be a barometer for everything that is happening in the home, for if there is something out of kilter I’ll feel it and you’ll know about it.

Flea Prevention & Holistic Treatments for Cats

By Celeste Yarnall, Ph.D

There’s so much that is done to our cats that is accepted and mediocre—so much so that few ever challenge it, especially Western trained veterinarians. But some of these habitual protocols done so mindlessly and often have turned out to be quite harmful for our cats. One of those is the routine use of chemical flea products. Let’s look at what we see advertised today routinely.

Flea collars (whether herbal or insecticidal) don’t work!

They don’t kill fleas, and they don’t even particularly repel them, except for the area right around the collar. The grocery/pet store variety contains concentrated toxic chemicals, and the herbal ones are irritating to odor-sensitive cats. Topical (spot-on or pour-on) flea preventatives are associated with liver disease and other adverse effects in cats. Permethrin, pyrethrin, or pyrethroid-containing products intended for dogs are extremely toxic to cats and have caused many feline deaths. Putting a dog flea product on a cat causes neurological signs (twitching, disorientation, seizures) that ultimately kill about 10 percent of cats.

Healthy cats eating a balanced, properly supplemented raw meat and raw bone diet are much less susceptible to fleas and other parasites. If your cat is experiencing a flea problem, work on improving your cat’s overall health and deal with the immediate parasite situation. This is a “holistic” approach in the truest sense of the word!

The conventional thinking that fleas are the problem is like saying “flies cause garbage” just because the two are often found together. It is the unhealthy state of the animal that attracts the parasites, just like garbage attracts flies.

Fleas, those nasty little blood suckers, are tough, highly evolved parasites that, once entrenched, are not easily eliminated. Fleas are attracted to warmth, moving shadows, and the vibrations from foot (or paw) steps. When dealing with fleas, you need to protect your cat and reach fleas and larvae hiding in carpets and yards. Even exclusively indoor cats can get fleas, which travel in on peoples shoes and clothing. (Keeping your cat indoors, however, will eliminate the risk of ticks.) And removing shoes at your front door keeps fleas out and helps keep other germs out as well.

Adult fleas spend most of their time on the cat, where they feed on blood several times a day. Flea eggs are slippery and quickly fall off the cat and onto the cat’s resting areas, floors, rugs, bedding, and furniture. The eggs hatch and go through several intermediate stages before emerging as adults in as little as two weeks, but they may remain dormant for months. That’s why even if you get rid of the fleas on your cat, reinfestation is a common and very frustrating phenomenon.

A Three-Pronged Approach to Treating Fleas
Try this one-two-three punch to eradicate fleas from your—and your cat’s—life.

ON YOUR CAT:

Use an ultra-fine-tooth flea comb daily. Pay particular attention to the neck, tummy, and base of the tail, which are favorite flea hangouts. Have a glass or bowl full of warm, soapy water at hand to drown any fleas that turn up.

Bathe your cat. Bathing your cat will drown a lot of fleas, but apply soap around the ears and neck first to keep the fleas from rushing up to the cat’s head and face. The herb Erigeron Canadensis (Canadian fleabane), found in some herbal shampoos, will help kill fleas. Bathe no more than once a week. See CelestialPets.com for erigeron shampoo.

IN YOUR HOME:

Floor/carpet treatments such as diatomaceous earth (the fossilized shells of one-celled organisms called diatoms) and boric acid–derived powders will kill flea larvae, primarily through dessication (drying). Exterminators use borates; you can either hire professionals to treat your home or do it yourself. For a serious flea problem, it may be worth paying a professional since their work is guaranteed. Vacuuming is very effective against flea eggs and might even catch a few adults. To keep the eggs from hatching or the fleas from escaping, discard the bag immediately or use a flea spray in the vacuum bag or container, (not on the cat) either before or right after you vacuum.

IN THE YARD:

Beneficial nematodes eat flea eggs and will help control flea populations outdoors.

Garden-grade diatomaceous earth is very effective. Concentrate on areas under shrubs and decks and other cool shady spots where animals (such as rodents, raccoons, and outdoor and feral cats) have access.

Be very careful about the so-called natural approaches to flea treatment such as the use of essential oils topically or internally for cats.

Remember essential oils can be very toxic to cats even though they are highly touted by so-called holistic pet experts. Do keep in mind that:

Cats’ livers do not have the necessary enzymes to break down and excrete certain chemical compounds in essential oils. The chemical compounds accumulate in a cat’s body and are sometimes toxic to the point of death. Cats are very sensitive to morphine, certain sulfanomides, salicylic acid (aspirin), acetaminophen (Tylenol), allyl propyl disulfide (onions) and compounds containing bezene (benzyl alcohol preservative). Avoid all of the following oils around cats:

  • Wintergreen and birch oils contain methyl salicylate, the same chemical compound in aspirin.
  • Phenol-containing oils: oregano, thyme, cinnamon (cassia), clove, savory, cedar, birch, and melaleuca (tea tree oil)
  • Ketones, such as sage
  • Monoterpene hydrocarbons pinene and limonene, most commonly found in the citrus and pine oils: lemon, orange, tangerine, mandarin, grapefruit, lime, bergamot, pine, spruce, and any fir oil. Many household cleaners and even pet products have these latter substances in them to make them smell nice to the owners.

Hydrosols are the appropriate form of essential oils to use in cats. Regardless, the cat should always be given a choice as to whether to “partake.” Forcing a cat to ingest oils that have not been tested for safety in their species seems most unwise and many essential oil people will do their best to tell you it is ok. However do not ever attempt this without a vet’s supervision at best.

Let’s only use foods and supplements that are safe and proven to be safe and effective for cats. The best oils for cats come from animal sources such as those that possess anti-inlammatory benefits such as Omega-3s from marine lipids which also help treat flea bite dermatitis.

For more holistic protocols for cats and information see The Complete Guide to Holistic Cat Care, An Illustrated Guide by Celeste Yarnall, PhD and Jean Hofve, DVM.

7 Ways to Deal With Smelly Pets

7 Ways to Deal With Smelly Pets

  • Nicolas, selected from petMD

By Patricia Khuly, DVM, PetMD

Got a pet who’s conditioned you to believe that his loving presence is worth all his foul odors? If your pet smells nasty then you probably know exactly what I’m talking about (though some of you may be in denial). Everyone else thinks he stinks and stays away. But you? You love him, aroma and all.

Nonetheless, there is something you can do about her chronic malodor, especially if she falls into one of the following categories of stinkiness. Read up on the concern and, for best results internalize their listed solutions!

1. The Skin Sufferers

If the surface of your pet’s skin’s smell is reminiscent of rotting fruit, something freshly dug up from deep underground, or just plain dogginess, you’ll know what I mean.

Solution: Whether this happens year-round or is limited to certain seasons, pets with certain skin conditions such as allergic skin disease and keratinization disorders (characterized by greasy and/or flaky skin), treatment of the underlying disease is generally effective in reducing or eliminating the odors associated with skin infections that accompany it.

Medicated shampoos and antibiotic and/or anti-fungal treatments are often necessary, at least at first and/or periodically, to tamp down the offending bacteria and/or yeast.

2. The Wildlife Devotees

These are the pets that stop, drop and roll at the sights and smells of a rotting carcass or raccoon feces (the foulest smelling scat on the planet). Maybe she’s a chronic stray cat poop consumer (like my Sophie), or a skunk tracking wonder-dog.

Solution: Restriction of a pet’s yard-based or hiking activities is usually not advisable. They need an outlet for their natural drives––and the exercise, of course. Picking up scat in your yard is helpful, as is special fencing to reduce encroachment by certain wildlife species (if you must).

Alternatively and/or additionally, treating the resulting foul odors can be achieved through an excellent, freshly brewed mix of hydrogen peroxide (1 quart), baking soda (1/3 cup) and a dash of a grease-cutting dish soap like Dawn (my favorite).

3. The Gaseous Ones

You know who you are.

Solution: Determining whether your pet has a condition such as intestinal parasitism, IBD (inflammatory bowel disease) or a pancreatic malfunction (as in EPI or “exocrine pancreatic insufficiency”) is crucial. But most pets who suffer excessive flatulence are merely exhibiting a mild intolerance to one or more ingredients in their diets.

Treatment of the primary dysfunction depends on the disease process, of course, but for those who suffer simple digestive intolerance may be helped either with pro-biotic supplements or through a process of trial and error with respect to diet choices. Carefully switching diets with varying ingredients until a minimum of flatulence is achieved is often fruitful in this regard.

 

4. The Bad-Breath Breakfast Club

Oral breath, usually secondary to periodontal disease, can lay low a whole crowd of dinner party guests who might otherwise truly enjoy your pet––and their meal.

Solution: Regular brushing (at least twice a week, but daily for some pets) and routine anesthetic dentistry (as often as every few months for severe sufferers) is the mainstay of bad breath resolution.

But some pets just have bad breath that arises chronically from their mouths and/or stomach gases––not necessarily from their teeth. These latter pets may be helped by adjusting the ingredients in their food and possibly by adding parsley to their diet (available in capsules). “Fresh breath” water supplements are not helpful, in my opinion, but some pet owners beg to differ.

5. The Anal Gland Leakers

The two anal glands, found on either side of the anus in dogs and cats occasionally have the propensity to fill up and spill out when over-full. The characteristic stench is perhaps the nastiest odor pets are capable of emitting.

Solution: Getting this under control is usually achieved by expressing the anal glands manually on a regular basis. Veterinarians and experienced groomers are best suited to this task, though many of my owners are willing to learn and manage quite well on their own.

A hydrogen peroxide wipe to the backside is very helpful once the odor becomes apparent.

 

6. The Otic Stink-Bombs

Ear infections are almost always skin infections. But their specific challenges mean very specific odors distinct from that of the rest of the skin. A fruity-smelling yeast infection that may or may not progress to a stinking bacterial infection is the usual finding.

Solution: Allergic skin disease is the primary cause of external ear infections in both cats and dogs. Infections can be dealt with by treating the underlying condition. Antibiotics and anti-fungals are used to tackle the infection––and the stink––but it will return (I promise), sometimes even after treating the allergy. After all, not every allergy is 100% treatable.

Cleaning the ears regularly with a mild disinfectant solution is always advisable.

 

7. The Wet Dog Crowd

Does your dog spend his life in the pool? Here in Miami that’s not uncommon––especially with Labs. Problem is, that also means wet dog smell that chronically lingers.

Solution: Keep your outdoor dog indoors, fence off the pool or invest in a proper canine blow-drier. Additionally, I recommend that you “Furminate”your dog daily to relieve her of some of the undercoat that traps moisture.

***

Anti-Aging for Cats

Anti-Aging for Cats

  • Celeste Yarnall, Ph.D

As we baby boomers incorporate anti-aging protocols, such as organic foods, exercise, and nutritional supplements into our own health regimes, we can also examine the best of these principles and adapt them in a way that is safe and appropriate for our companion cats. These are not just theories, they are the very principals and protocols that were the backbone of my 11 generation Championship Tonkinese Cat breeding program, which through to its conclusion in 2009, spanned nearly 20 years. I personally conducted this anti-aging holistic natural rearing program (on a small scale, and always finding wonderful homes for all the kittens and cats through the years) and have seen first hand what this regime produces, generation after generation, as I personally witnessed the difference between my cats and those born and raised on commercial pet foods, the overuse of drugs, and abuse of booster vaccines. How do I know the difference you might ask? Because I raised my first litters that way.

I was so concerned by what I experienced, that I began my own research and challenged what I was being told by many veterinarians and mentors. I broke away from those tired methods and launched my own holistic breeding program. I consulted with experts, including my friend, Jean Hofve, DVM, who joined me as my Complete Guide to Holistic Cat Care co-author. Ultimately, I came to the conclusion that the single most important anti-aging modality for cats is feeding a properly balanced, naturally raised, raw meat and raw bone based, species-specific diet. This is the foundation upon which all of our holistic regimes rest. The recipes for these homemade foods are found at CelestialPets.com

The goal of anti-aging is to ensure that one’s later years are enjoyed in optimum health and well being. In human medicine, we talk about ways to lengthen telomeres, we fix and even replace body parts that have degenerated. However, these techniques are not readily available for our cats. Kidney transplantation is available, but impractical and unaffordable for all but a very few cats. Perhaps one day, we will see bio-identical hormone replacement for altered cats, biomedical technologies, such as autologous stem cell therapy (harvested from the cat’s own body), nanotechnology drug delivery, and even development of bio-identical replacement organs. One day, we may even see these techniques as common place in veterinary clinics. But what can we do in the meantime? As our cats mature and become senior citizens, it becomes important to support not only their physical well being (flexibility, eyesight, hearing, energy levels and general body systems) but their emotional equilibrium; nourishing and nurturing their bodies and spirits as they mature and keeping their stress levels as well as our own down to the barest minimum possible.

Modalities in veterinary medicine must often first be firmly entrenched in human medicine before they trickle down to our pets. The use of supplementation has become extremely popular in feline preventative medicine, as have herbal remedies and homeopathic remedies. Since cats are such unique and sensitive beings, we must be very careful with the so-called super supplements and herbal remedies which may work perfectly well for most people and dogs, but can be deadly for cats. For example, Alpha Lipoic acid is great for dogs and people but deadly for cats. Resveratrol is also excellent for people and their anti-aging regimes but is not to be given to either dogs or cats. Make no mistake that the success of all supplements and remedies work hand in hand with the species-specific raw meat and raw bone diet of the cat and are primarily derived from animal sources.

Nature has created a wonderful plan where each gland and organ found in the prey animal nourishes the corresponding system in both our dogs and cats. Our cats natural diet of fresh raw prey which they eat in their wild environment serves as the recycling plant for the cat. In other words, the prey animal processes by eating what the cat, an obligate carnivore needs nutritionally and when the cat consumes the prey, she gets these nutrients second hand. The carnivores therefore naturally, for the most part, eat the vegetarian animals. We look to these animal sources to round out the diet when we make it at home, from scratch in our own kitchens. See my Care2 Celestial Musings blog on this topic for instructions on how to prepare your cat’s food. Simply giving supplements with commercial pet food from bags and cans is no different from eating Big Macs and swallowing vitamins with a Diet Coke! We all know better than that, but if your vet tells you to feed out of this bag or can, most people follow like sheep (even though vets know next to nothing about diet and nutrition other than what pet food companies tell them) rather than do some research, to see how other well informed cat guardians make their cat food themselves – something I have been doing and teaching others to do for over 20 years. I even formulated a line of supplements because there was nothing specifically formulated for homemade food. I call them Celestial Pets Supplements and this I did first of all for my own cats and then to share with others since they did not exist in the marketplace.

 

What causes our cats to age?

In a word, inflammation. Current research points to chronic inflammation as the major cause of many, if not most chronic and degenerative diseases as well as other features of aging, such as liver disease, diabetes, arthritis, and even cancer. However, inflammation is also the body’s primary defensive and healing mechanism. Trauma, toxins, allergens, and infectious organisms all trigger inflammation. On one hand, that’s a good thing. If inflammation didn’t happen, wounds would never heal, and viruses and bacteria would rampage unchecked. Inflammation is a normal part of living. The key is to moderate inflammation—not too little, not too much, and for the appropriate amount of time. The addition of a cold extracted, organic, greenlip mussel oil extract and antioxidant supplement can go along way to relieve the symptoms of inflammation much better than fish, krill, salmon, or cod liver oil and aid greatly in our anti-aging efforts. My choice is Moxxor as it meets this criteria perfectly and is therefore an anti-aging supplement for cats, dogs, horses and children and adults of all ages, too.

Many feline experts have over the years, prior to the advent of the state of the art new Omega-3 supplement, Moxxor, used flax, cod liver, krill or salmon oil for the purpose of including some essential fatty acids and Omega-3s, into their cats’ diets and I did this too, but since I learned how these oils are all made, (they are nearly all molecularly distilled or esterified – heated at high temperatures, laced with alcohol, solvents, salt, and deodorizers to rid them of heavy metals such as mercury), they are far less than desirable to me now because they contain only two Omega-3s (DHA and EPA) whereas Moxxor contains 18 Omega-3s including one called ETA which is not found in anything else to any measurable degree. All oils, with the exception of Moxxor are impossible to keep from going rancid under the best of circumstances, (rancidity is the bane of the oil industry).

Cooked food products (and that includes the heat processing of supplements) do not track with the way felines have hunted and eaten their fresh raw prey for thousands of years. There are no toaster ovens or vats in the wild to cook their meat or distill their oils, so therefore all ingredients for cats and dogs must be raw or as close to raw as possible in order to duplicate the macro-nutrients found in their wild diet and take advantage of some solid evidence-based science now available for the need for clinical nutrition and supplementation. There is even recent information (which you can read about here) clearly demonstrating that raw meat or even lightly cooked meat is more nutritious than kibble and this study was done by a pet food company. The co-author, Dr. Jean Hofve of my book Holistic Cat Care, is interviewed here by Dr. Becker. Dr. Jean, who corroborates this fact, quotes from our book and is interviewed as an expert on the benefits of real food for cats.

NOTE: A great anti-aging tip for cats as well as dogs, is the feeding of cut up, raw, free-range/organic chicken necks for dessert, as this is the way nature intended for cats to clean their teeth. Keeping cats’ teeth clean and gums healthy this way prevents kidney and heart disease as diseased gums (cervical neck lesions), which erode under the gum line, trap bacteria and infections driving the bacteria down to the heart and kidneys. Cats, because of this condition, start to have kidney disease and can be deemed geriatric at age 7 or 8 years old today! Watch how we recommend that cats clean their teeth. No dental appointments at the vet’s office with dangerous anesthesia are necessary when we use the techniques mother nature intended. See CelesteCats Matrix clean his teeth the natural way. Having had two of my beloved cats die as a result of the anesthesia from a routine dental cleaning, you can bet that I will avoid this procedure whenever possible! This is the best cleaning your cats teeth can ever have.

Besides the benefits of living indoors and being loved and treated as a member of a family, you can take steps to help your cat live to her full life expectancy. We can thereby help guard against turning on potentially dangerous genes that might have been passed down the line to our cats, through our species-specific diet, state of the art supplementation, herbs and homeopathy, and even some new age modalities such as veterinary energy medicine and high tech bio-resonance machines, and much more. We can now create an anti-aging lifestyle for ourselves and our companion cats. See Holistic Cat Care for more details on anti-aging modalities for our beloved cat companions and as always I am available for one on one phone consultations.

Vets Share Worst Things Their Pet Patients Ate

Vets Share Worst Things Their Pet Patients Ate

  • Nicolas, selected from petMD

Every year Veterinary Practice News holds a contest called “They Ate What?” in which veterinarians and clinic staff send in X-rays and case descriptions of the craziest things their patients have swallowed. The contest is a fun way to share offbeat incidents from the trenches of veterinary practice, but the stories do serve as a reminder that our pets need to be protected from the consequences of their dietary indiscretions. Here are a few highlights from the 2011 “They Ate What?” contest. Click through for the runners up and grand prize winner.

Honorable Mentions:

Melissa Seavey, Healthy Paws Veterinary Center, Westborough, MA

Ten baby bottle nipples were removed from the stomach of a 4-month-old golden retriever.

Stephen Crosby, CVT, VTS, New Haven Central Hospital for Veterinary Medicine, New Haven, CT

An owner was feeding peanut butter off a spoon to her Alaskan malamute, who managed to gulp down the treat while it was still attached to the spoon. X-rays showed that the dog had previously also eaten a piece of a collar and a toy.

Caitlin Fickett, Alaska Veterinary Clinic, Anchorage, AK

A dog came in for vomiting and eating grass. X-rays revealed a foreign body in the stomach. The next morning, an additional X-ray better showed the object — a hard plastic dinosaur.

Patti Klein Manke, DVM, Woodstock Veterinary Clinic, Woodstock, NY

Prince Edward, a 9-year-old bulldog, ate his owner’s false teeth after finding them in a bowl of ice cream. The teeth were returned to the owner. (Hopefully they were cleaned well before being put back into duty!)

 

Runners Up:

Lisa Anne Attanasi, DVM, Eaglewood Cliffs Veterinary, Eaglewood Cliffs, NJ

Wailen, a 12-year-old beagle, presumably was brought into the clinic with symptoms of gastrointestinal distress. His veterinarian ordered abdominal X-rays, which revealed a hodgepodge of foreign “stuff” in his stomach. During surgery, the doctor removed shoe laces, mulch, a knee high stocking, a plastic plant, plastic ties, and the bristles of a car snow-cleaning brush.

Jenny Yanson, practice manager, Suburbia North Animal Hospital

Tinkerbell, a 6-month-old bulldog, ate a metal slip collar, became ill, and was brought into her veterinarian’s office. X-rays revealed that this was not her first offense. Two slip collars were surgically removed from her stomach.

 

Grand Prize Winner:

Vanessa Hawksin, DVM, Bayshore Animal Hospital, Warrenton, OR

A dog came into the clinic because of hind leg lameness. The doctor ordered radiographs to look for musculoskeletal abnormalities, and found nine handballs in the dog’s stomach instead. (I assume these were unrelated to the dog’s lameness.)

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Can You Have Too Many Cats?

Can You Have Too Many Cats?

  • Nicolas, selected from petMD

By Dr. Justine Lee, PetMD

Do I really need to answer this question? (And yes, I realize this blog will piss off people who own more than 6 cats!)

Unfortunately, I do.

Years ago, I had two women who brought their cat into the emergency room at the University of Pennsylvania. Both women reeked so badly of cat urine, I couldn’t even close the exam door due to my eyes burning from the ammonia smell. When I asked these women some questions about the cat’s environment, they couldn’t answer how many cats they had. I asked, “10? 20? 60? 100?” Their reply? “Over 100.”

These two women, who were cat hoarders, didn’t notice that their cat was ill until it was on death’s door, since they had so many in their “environment.” This cat was severely dehydrated, emaciated, and had a body condition score of 1 out of 9. This cat weighed just under five pounds (instead of nine), and was so lethargic it couldn’t even lift its head. (It ultimately died despite several days of hospitalization and life-saving care.)

So, can you imagine having so many cats that it prevents you from adequately being able to care for your pets?

 

You may hear of the occasional crazy “hoarder” revealed on the news — people with underlying mental disorders who live with a hundred cats hidden in their house (hopefully nowhere near your neighborhood). Sadly for the cats, the m.o. of your cat lovin’, urine-smelling, disheveled animal hoarder is quite sad. Most hoarders are unmarried and live alone (and you thought it was hard to find a date with just two cats…). Hoarders also come from all different socioeconomic backgrounds and typically are over sixty years of age. To top it off, over three-fourths of hoarders are females, once again giving the single white female a bad rap. Some more scary numbers?

  • In 69% percent of hoarding cases, animal urine and feces was found accumulated in living areas.
  • More than one in four (> 25%) of hoarders’ beds are soiled with animal feces.
  • 80% of reported cases had dead or sick animals present in the house.
  • 60% of hoarders didn’t acknowledge that they had dead or sick animals in the house.
  • Over 65% of hoarding cases involve cats (although some also hoard small dogs and rabbits).

While most hoarders don’t read my blog, my general advice to any cat owner is this: I usually recommend no more than four to five cats total. Sometimes I offend my fellow veterinarians, veterinary technicians, and friends when I tell them my cut-off for crazy is six cats. After that, I think it’s medically unhealthy.

If this pisses you off, I’m sorry, but I’m looking out for the welfare of the cats and dogs here. Try finding a veterinarian who has that many. It’s rare — we know that having this many cats can result in severe behavioral problems. Of course, if you ask ten different vets, you may get ten different answers. That said, until those nine other vets write an opinionated blog about it, I still recommend no more than four or five cats per household.

So what’s the problem with having so many cats? Animal behavior specialists often see more problems in multicat households. Having too many cats may result in urination problems (i.e., not in the litter box!), intercat fighting and attacking, and difficulty in monitoring general health. For example, checking the litter box to see if one cat has a urinary tract infection is more difficult when you have six cats.

So how many cats should you get? I have to say that I initially enjoyed having a one cat household. That is, until I experienced a two-cat household. Now I’m a firm believer in having two cats together. Seamus, my 13-year old, grey and white tabby, was more friendly and affectionate to humans (more to the point — me!) as an only child. When I adopted Echo (who sadly, passed away in April from severe heart disease), I got less “loving” from Seamus. He wanted to spend all his time playing with Echo instead. Echo and Seamus played together (constantly), slept together, wrestled together, and loved each other up. Once Seamus and Echo befriended each other, I was officially demoted to the source of food and to litter box duty. Seamus’ quality of life, social skills, and exercise level definitely improved while he had Echo in his life. After seeing this, I do firmly believe that cats do benefit from having a companion to play with. *Note, a companion or two — not six or one hundred.

I’ve been fortunate to have cats that get along (despite the first few tumultuous days of hissing and cat introductions). For that reason, yes, I support having afew feline friends together.